James Black (1823-1893)
The party, true to its name, opposes the manufacture, distribution, and sale of alcoholic beverages, citing it as “America’s #1 narcotic drug problem”. It also advocates the banning of abortions and gambling, and strongly supports the Second Amendment. The Prohibition Party calls for the disbandment of the Federal Reserve and the enactment of a federal balanced budget legislation.
While the party has been relegated to the outermost fringes of mainstream politics, it was a force to be reckoned with during its first 50 years of existence.
The Prohibition Party came into being in 1869 to serve as the political arm of the temperance movement. Led by James Black, the owner of the influential social conservative publication, the National Temperance Society and Publishing House, the party also championed the right of women to vote.
Aided by numerous conservative and progressive organizations, as well as churches and family bodies, the party achieved notable success at federal, state and county level elections, culminating in Pastor Sidney Catts’ victory in the 1917 Florida gubernatorial election.
Its finest hour came in 1919 following the ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment, which outlawed the manufacturing, sale, or transportation of alcohol in the United States. However, the repeal of the Amendment in 1933 following the ratification of the Twenty-First Amendment effectively ended the party’s participation at national level politics.
Despite languishing in the fringes of mainstream politics since then, the Prohibition Party holds the enviable record of being the only party outside of the big two to participate in the presidential election since 1872 – 36 times in total!
Trivia: In 1977, the party changed its name to the “National Statesman Party,” only to return to its original name less than three years later.
PO Box 212
Needemore, PA 17238
• James Black (1823-1893): Party founder and leader of the 19th century Temperance movement.
• Pastor Sidney Johnston Catts (1863-1936): The party’s first and only state governor (Governor of Florida, 1917–1921)